Tip of the week # 496
14 October 2016

Automatically move low-priority emails from your inbox (Microsoft Outlook) *

Are you suffering from email overload? It's a fact that email traffic is increasing and we are often overwhelmed by it. Over the years I have offered tips to tackle it and help you discover some of the features of Outlook you might not be aware of. This coming Monday I'll be a guest on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire where I will give advice on how to tame the overstuffed, out-of-control beast that is your inbox. Here's a sneak preview ... filtering out bacn. What's bacn?, I hear you ask. Well, bacn is email that you subscribed to, such as newsletters and offers, and is therefore not SPAM. So if you want to read some of your bacn (such as my tips - I hope) why not automatically move them to a separate folder where you can find them when you have time? That way you can focus on the most important messages in your inbox.

Here's how:

  1. Press CTRL + E and type the word unsubscribe. (By law, bacn emails need to contain an unsubscribe option.)
  2. Right-click the message you want to automatically move to a bacn folder.
  3. Click Rules, followed by Always Move Messages From.
  4. Click on your bacn folder you created earlier or click on New to create one "on the fly".
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Finish.

A new rule is created that moves all future messages from that specific person. So, if you also get "normal" emails from this person you might want to use the advanced options as described in tip_457.php or use Quick Steps, as described in tip_346.php.

To edit or delete rules, select Manage Rules & Alerts from the Rules button in the Move group on the Home tab.

By the way, in Office 365 (Outlook 2016) a new feature was introduced, that will train Outlook to automatically store less important email in a Clutter inbox. So this tip and what's written in tip 489, describing how to move messages where your name is in the Cc box to a folder named "when I have time to read this", might be a workaround until you or your organisation upgrades.

Oh, and if you are interested to get more tips on how to tackle email overload, why not tune in to the Jeremy Sallis Show on Monday 17 October at 12.30pm.

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.